Geodatabase data models are designed to be used in practical application scenarios by a wide range of users. To ensure that each design is easy to understand and implement, each data model was built to support easy migration from existing data structures and has been designed to be flexible, extensible, and easily adapted by your organization. Here are a few final design tips to help you with your design implementation:
- Build on your existing GIS designs.
Most existing database designs are suitable for moving forward. You can build on what has worked in the past and find new geodatabase capabilities that will improve on your past efforts.
- Use generic geodatabase types whenever feasible.
Combining generic data structures with very rich GIS tools provides the best solutions that will scale and support multiple users and applications. Leverage the ArcGIS software logic as much as possible for your work. Only use customized GIS data structures as a last resort.
- Integrate related feature classes using topology.
Legacy ArcGIS Desktop Advanced users with coverages will find many opportunities to integrate feature classes using topologies in the geodatabase. Learn how to use geodatabase topology and its rules. This will create real savings during editing, minimize the amount of customization work you'll need, and increase user productivity. Even small GIS organizations will see up to a 40 percent increase in efficiency for data maintenance.
- Combine GIS design concepts from this section with traditional relational database design methods.
Both database management system (DBMS) and GIS design methodologies are critical for good GIS design. One is not sufficient without the other. Learn to use and apply both sets of techniques.
- Prototype and pilot your geodatabase design.
Prototyping a design with ArcGIS Desktop using a file or personal geodatabase, or a geodatabase for SQL Server express, is easy, fun, and effective. You’ll be surprised at how much insight you’ll gain through experimentation and how much more effective and efficient your design process will become.
During the final stage of design, you’ll want to test scalability and workflows that represent the work that your organization will perform with your geodatabase. Use this to make final adjustments to your design. Be practical in your final test phase and adjust your design as necessary.